The University of Ottawa Clinician Investigator Program received approval by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2001. The major goal of the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) is to assist in the career development of clinician investigators in Canada by providing a formal postgraduate medical education pathway that fulfils the existing specialty/subspecialty requirements of the Royal College and provides, in addition, a minimum of two years of structured, rigorous research training.

It is recognized that two years of research training is usually insufficient to embark on a career as a medical scientist, but individuals who complete the program should have a solid grounding in research and, with additional career specific research experience, may become independent investigators.

For the purpose of this program, health research includes not only the traditional areas of laboratory and clinical biomedical research, but also such fields as economics, management, social, behavioral and information sciences as they apply to health and disease.

This program does not imply the creation of a new specialty or subspecialty, but rather identifies an educational pathway with specific objectives and requirements leading to Royal College recognition on satisfactory completion of the specialty/subspecialty requirements and of the research components of the CIP. The program is available to residents enrolled in specialty or subspecialty residency programs accredited by the Royal College who have demonstrated an interest in and a potential for a career as clinician investigators.

The objectives, training requirements, accreditation, credentialing and evaluation procedures for the specialty/subspecialty component of the CIP will not change for residents enrolled in the CIP.

The generic goals and objectives for the CIP are outlined below. Based on these generic objectives, individual educational objectives must be developed for the research component for individual research residents. These objectives will form an important part of the interim assessments of progress of the research resident and of the verification of completion of the research component of the program.

For individual research residents with a previous PhD degree, the educational objectives will be identical to those without a PhD degree, but evaluated in the context of a postdoctoral research experience.


General Objectives

At the end of the research component of the program, the resident will be expected to have acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitudes fundamental to embarking on a career in health research. In most cases, further research training specific to the resident’s field of interest will be required so that he/she can succeed as an independent investigator.

The CIP should also provide an opportunity to integrate research and clinical care. During the research components of the CT and FT pathways, some time may be spent in clinical activity related to the research; however, the majority of time (at least 80%) must be devoted to research. In the DCT pathway, the requirement during the 27 month research component is to dedicate 75% of time to research, to accommodate integration of clinical training that would normally be undertaken in the PGY3 year of specialty training.

Specific Objectives for Individual Research Residents

At the completion of the research training, the resident will have acquired the following competencies and will function effectively as a:

Medical Research Expert

Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Function effectively as a clinician investigator, integrating all of the CanMEDS – Roles to function as a clinician and to conduct ethical research
  • Seek appropriate consultation from others as required, recognizing the limits of their own clinical research expertise

Research Communicator

Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Develop rapport, trust and ethical relationships with research subjects, peers and other professionals

Research Collaborator

Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Participate effectively and appropriately in interprofessional research teams
  • Effectively work with others in research teams to prevent, negotiate and resolve interprofessional conflicts
Clinician Investigator Program Ottawa Terms of Reference

Research Manager

Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Manage activities for research skill and career development effectively
  • Manage research project and resources appropriately, effectively and efficiently
  • Manage experimental data recording and result interpretation appropriately in research endeavours
  • Serve in administration and leadership roles, as appropriate to their research career

Health Advocate

Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Participate in ethical research, with appreciation for the importance of research to the social, economic and biologic factors that impact health
  • Participate in activities that demonstrate advocacy for subjects, patients, communities and populations, as appropriate to further health and the research enterprise
  • Promote dissemination of research knowledge to patients, communities and populations, as appropriate


Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Establish and maintain knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to their research practices, with a thorough understanding and appreciation of the components of proper scientific inquiry
  • Elicit and accurately synthesize relevant research information and perspectives from relevant sources
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically and apply this appropriately to research practices and decisions
  • Demonstrate proficient and appropriate use of research skills. Perform complete and appropriate assessments of research questions and problems, using effective experimental methodologies to address questions
  • Convey relevant information and explanations accurately to research subjects, peers and other professionals, in research activities, including scientific presentations, grant proposals, publications and other communications
  • Consult appropriately for feedback on knowledge and performance
  • Maintain and enhance professional activities through ongoing learning
  • Facilitate the learning of others about research, including patients, families, students, residents, other health and research professionals, the public and others, as appropriate
  • Contribute to the creation, dissemination, application and translation of new knowledge and practices


Key and Enabling Competencies: Clinician investigators are able to…

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the profession, society, subjects and patients through ethical and honest research practices
  • Demonstrate commitment, honesty, integrity and compassion in research activities, including participation in profession-led regulation, peer-review activities, and the prevention of academic fraud
  • Demonstrate a commitment to clinician researcher health and sustainable practice